Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BBC Radio Debunks DV Propaganda - May 15, 2009

This weekly BBC radio programme called "More or Less" covers mathematics and the world of statistics in daily life. It's host is "undercover economist" Tim Harford.

The May 15, 2009 podcast (13mb, 28 mins) addresses the often heard "false factoid" regarding the incidence and severity of Domestic Violence data in Britain (ie. DV is the leading cause of death for women aged 15-44)  broadcast on BBC 10PM newscast in March 2009 - and thoroughly debunks it.   It notes how such figures metastasized quickly without much concern for accuracy, veracity and context - but does little else to trap the purveyors of such propaganda - which is the real crime.    They do find these "factoids" quoted all over official documentation in the Ministry's of Justices, Social Services, CSO and elsewhere.    They are among the most pervasively promulgated lies imaginable - but little effort seems to have been taken to stamp then out.   I think the real story would have examined how such "factoids" are themselves generated at the BBC News department - but that might be asking too much.

It is worth a listen.

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